Thursday, 27 June 2013

Reading Flower Meadows in late June 2013

It is late June now and the perennial flower meadows in Reading are in full bloom, alive with pollinators and other insects. The most obvious flower in the meadows is ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) with its big white flowers with a yellow center.
Other plants which are flowering at the moment are for example birds-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) with its small yellow flowers which often have a red tinge, pink-flowered musk mallow (Malva moschata), viper`s bugloss (Echium vulgare) with its brilliant blue flowers, red and white clover (Trifolium pratense and T. repens) and wild carrot (Daucus carota). Pollinators love the flowers and if you are standing beside the meadow you can hear them buzzing everywhere. We have also seen quite a lot of small grey-green and blue damselflies as well as interesting-looking solitary wasps in the meadows.

A solitary wasp
Wild carrot in our meadow in Meadway Recreation Ground
Birds-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)
Musk mallow and viper`s bugloss in the Portman Road meadow
A sea of ox-eye daisies in Westfield Road Recreation Ground
A pretty rose chafer beetle
Wild carrot and ox-eye daisies
A tree bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)
Bumblebees (here: Bombus lapidarius) like the ox-eye daisies
Our meadows are buzzing with pollinators
Red - and white clover growing in the Meadway Recreation Ground meadow
Our meadow along Portman Road looks really nice
Bombus pratorum on viper`s bugloss
A small tortoiseshell butterfly
White ox-eye daisies with pink musk mallows and blue viper`s bugloss
We have seen a lot of these small damselflies in the meadows

The annual flower meadows still need a bit of time but the first flowers are opening now as well. You can see small white-flowered and honey-scented sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima), taller white-flowered white wall rocket (Diplotaxis erucoides), pink-flowered virginia stock (Malcomia maritima) and in some meadows the first orange californian poppy flowers (Eschscholzia californica).

Sweet alyssum flowering in the annual meadow in Palmer Park
A solitary bee visiting sweet alyssum flowers
Californian poppies and borage in the Victoria Recreation Ground meadow
A nice hoverfly on sweet alyssum flowers
Andrena haemorrhoa likes the sweet alyssum as well

Read more about the flower meadows here. If you want to visit the flower meadows have a look here to find their locations in Reading. Best time to visit the perennial meadows is from June to August. Best time for the annual meadows is from mid/end July to September.

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